Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade

Contents:

Author Info

  • Nathan Nunn

Abstract

Is a country's ability to enforce contracts an important determinant of comparative advantage? To answer this question, I construct a variable that measures, for each good, the proportion of its intermediate inputs that require relationship-specific investments. Combining this measure with data on trade flows and judicial quality, I find that countries with good contract enforcement specialize in the production of goods for which relationship-specific investments are most important. According to my estimates contract enforcement explains more of the pattern of trade than physical capital and skilled labor combined. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/qjec.122.2.569
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 122 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 569-600

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:569-600

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

Order Information:
Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00335533

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Clague, Christopher, 1991. "Relative Efficiency, Self-Containment, and Comparative Costs of Less Developed Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 507-30, April.
  2. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-39, December.
  3. Pol Antras, 2004. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 62, Econometric Society.
  4. McLaren, J., 1996. "'Globalization' and Vertical Structure," Discussion Papers 1996_21, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "What role for empirics in international trade?," Discussion Papers 0102-05, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  6. Golub, Stephen S & Hsieh, Chang-Tai, 2000. "Classical Ricardian Theory of Comparative Advantage Revisited," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 221-34, May.
  7. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Michael Kremer, 1997. "Disorganization," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 38, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  9. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2005. "Does Legal Enforcement Affect Financial Transactions? The Contractual Channel in Private Equity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 223-246, January.
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Outsourcing in a Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 135-159.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  12. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  13. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 1999. "Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 418, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 03 Aug 2000.
  14. Daniel Berkowitz & Johannes Moenius & Katharina Pistor, 2006. "Trade, Law, and Product Complexity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 363-373, May.
  15. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2003. "Unbundling Institutions," NBER Working Papers 9934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
  17. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  18. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
  19. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
  21. Puga, Diego & Trefler, Daniel, 2005. "Wake Up and Smell the Ginseng: The Rise of Incremental Innovation in Low-Wage Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 5286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  23. Masten, Scott E, 1984. "The Organization of Production: Evidence from the Aerospace Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 403-17, October.
  24. Bruce Elmslie & William Milberg, 1992. "International trade and factor intensity uniformity: An empirical assessment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 464-486, September.
  25. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Outsourcing Versus FDI in Industry Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 317-327, 04/05.
  26. J. Ernesto Lopez-Cordova & Christopher M. Meissner, 2005. "The Globalization of Trade and Democracy, 1870-2000," NBER Working Papers 11117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Ornelas, Emanuel & Turner, John L., 2008. "Trade liberalization, outsourcing, and the hold-up problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 225-241, January.
  29. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 93-119, March.
  30. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Barbara Spencer, 2005. "International outsourcing and incomplete contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1107-1135, November.
  32. Henri L.F. De Groot & Gert-Jan Linders & Piet Rietveld & Uma Subramanian, 2003. "The Institutional Determinants of Bilateral Trade Patterns," ERSA conference papers ersa03p421, European Regional Science Association.
  33. Vlachos, Jonas & Svaleryd, Helena, 2001. "Financial Markets, the Pattern of Specialization and Comparative Advantage. Evidence from OECD countries," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 449, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 03 Sep 2001.
  34. Kirk Monteverde & David J. Teece, 1982. "Supplier Switching Costs and Vertical Integration in the Automobile Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 206-213, Spring.
  35. Mahoney, Paul G, 2001. "The Common Law and Economic Growth: Hayek Might Be Right," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 503-25, Part I Ju.
  36. Keith Head & John Ries & Barbara J. Spencer, 2002. "Vertical Networks and US Auto Parts Exports: Is Japan Different?," NBER Working Papers 9162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2007. "Comparative advantage, demand for external finance, and financial development," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 796-834, December.
  38. Clague, Christopher K., 1991. "Factor proportions, relative efficiency and developing countries' trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 357-380, April.
  39. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2005. "Contracts and the Division of Labor," NBER Working Papers 11356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  42. Masten, Scott E. & Meehan, James Jr. & Snyder, Edward A., 1989. "Vertical integration in the U.S. auto industry : A note on the influence of transaction specific assets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 265-273, October.
  43. Johannes Moenius & Daniel Berkowitz, 2004. "Institutional Change and Product Composition: Does the Initial Quality of Institutions Matter?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-662, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  44. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:569-600. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.